Arguably serving as a cenotaph for the fourteenth-century explorer, Dubai’s Ibn Battuta Mall constitutes an insular space for which history, geography, and climate have been produced. This essay studies the spatial strategies used and represented therein and argues that the building acts as what Peter Sloterdijk calls an “absolute island,” reproducing its outside as a vacuum that cannot be inhabited except in this manner. Furthermore, the mall and the phantasmagoric curiosities that inhabit the mall become different articulations of claims to a superiority that is characteristic of the style of urbanism that one witnesses in Dubai.
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Gökçe Günel; A Flying Man, a Scuttled Ship, and a Timekeeping Device: Reflections on Ibn Battuta Mall. Public Culture 1 September 2011; 23 (3 (65)): 541–549. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/08992363-1336408
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